I am about 4 weeks into my weight-loss journey. I am surprised, really surprised at well I have done, sticking to my version of the Mediterranean diet and doing some form of exercise daily, whether it be swimming, walking, or gardening. I am trying to drink more water. I count my calories. And I am super proud of myself.
But I have noticed some things, that are puzzling me a bit. The wrinkles in my face are much more noticeable, as the weight seems to have dropped off in my face first. I have spent my whole life trying to take care of my skin, so I don’t get wrinkles, but here they are. I guess the fat on my face was kind of keeping all those wrinkles filled in, and now it is not there, the wrinkles are quite apparent. I am not so worried about that though-there are treatments to eradicate those fine wrinkles. That’s what my friend, who used to work at a medical spa, says. Hope she is right.
The other thing I have noticed, is my skin in general has become really dry. It doesn’t seem to be holding its moisture at all. I slather lotion on my arms all day long, and it still has a very faint crepiness to it. I do mind that. A lot.
So, I wondered why. I went off and did some research. It turns out decreasing the fat in your diet drastically is not a good thing at all. We need to ingest fat. And that is not fair. Unlike a person who likes to drink a lot, and just stops drinking, overweight people, who enjoy eating foods, cannot just give up all fat. It has some really bad effects on the body.
Not eating enough fat can:
Cause depression – we need fat, especially Essential Fatty Acids because they are the precursors to a lot of hormones that affect mood and behavior.
Decrease absorption of certain vitamins – we need fat to help with absorption of Vitamins A, D, E and K. If we don’t eat enough fat we can become deficient in those vitamins and that brings on a whole different set of issues.
Cause an imbalance in the type of nutrients we are ingesting – If we are not eating fat, we are eating carbohydrates. Not eating enough fat can decrease the appetite suppression process in our body, so …. we eat more carbohydrates to feel full. I read somewhere that this is called the “Snackwell Syndrome”. Remember Snackwell cookies? They were the first reduced fat cookies that came out on the market, and we all were so excited, because here was a cookie that didn’t have a lot of fat, and we ate them and ate them, and didn’t really feel bad about it, because they were reduced fat. Problem was the fat was replaced with more carbohydrates – and so we ate more and more to be satisfied, and in the end, did ourselves more of a disservice, then if we had just eaten several normal cookies.
Cause dry skin, hair loss and brittle nails – We must ingest fats for Essential Fatty Acids which our bodies do not produce naturally. This helps to keep our hair shiny and healthy, our nails from becoming brittle and our skin remaining supple.
So, there you are. Bottom line is we must eat fat. It can’t be avoided. I was going to find a nice chart on the percentages of macronutrients we should take in each day, but then I ended up wasting about half an hour looking at “Before and After” weight loss photos – which were so much more fascinating than the charts. Oh, and 25-35% of our calories we take in each day should be comprised of fat calories.